I think if we are honest here, the Carling Cup is the competition that isn't exactly our priority this season BUT saying that, is the f...

I think if we are honest here, the Carling Cup is the competition that isn't exactly our priority this season BUT saying that, is the first available trophy to win this season. AVB has made a point of saying that we will enter all four competitions to try to win them so expect some changes tonight but alongside strong first team players.

For Fulham I would imagine it's pretty much the same thing. With Martin Jol looking to rebuild the side into his own mould, the League Cup isn't exactly a priority this season but if they were to progress through a couple of rounds, they would be looking to start playing their first team to win it.

So what of tonight's game and the first of our local derbies this season?. People outside of Fulham always describe the game as a pointless derby which is ridiculous.

This game for the fans has a sense of local pride. OK, alot of you people may have good mates that are fans of either side, go out drinking with them and hang around with them, but for 90 minutes tonight it will be alot different. You can't tell me that Chelsea fans and Fulham fans aren't bothered if we lose this!!

I think the neutrals in football had been impressed with both our sides at the weekend. No one expected the performance Chelsea gave at United, especially in the second half after being 3-0 down at half time did they. Based on chances alone, we should have got at least a draw.

The same was said about Fulham. 2-0 down at home to Man City and they fought back to get a very creditable 2-2 draw. Fair play to them.

Both results and performances showed us all one thing, the players are right there with their managers, playing for them, believing in what they are doing and playing for the shirt they are wearing and that's all we want at the end of the day as supporters isn't it. The same will be said of tonight.

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What of Fulham tonight?
We all know Chelsea's intentions tonight as AVB spoke of them yesterday. What about Fulham? If reports are to be believed they will be making two changes with Hangeland and Murphy likely to be rested. There maybe another two of three changes (Zamora and Duff) but I can't see anymore than that. This is a game they want to come here and win so expect them to have these on the bench.

They have done with with Martin Jol he is a good manager. The Spurs fans I know wanted him back before Redknapp was appointed. He sets his side out to pressurise the ball, win the ball back, spread the play wide to make the pitch big and to attack sides when they have the ball. Expect the same tonight. The fact it's a derby means nothing different to Fulham, they will still come here and play exactly the same way.

Fulham are a good, dangerous side when they have the ball. We all know the threat of Clint Dempsey who always has a good game against us. In Ruiz they have someone who can set the Premier League alight once he has settled into the country. Moussa Dembele was someone we were reportedly looking at but Fulham got him and he has done well. He has immense talent and could be key for them tonight. Expect Andy Johnson to start up front for them and he will work his socks off. Chelsea need to remain solid at the back and in midfield or it could be a really difficult night for us.

What of Chelsea?
We all know that Bertrand, Romeu, McEachran and Lukaku are playing and even though they are described as youngsters, they are part of our first team squad so will come in to do a job tonight. It's a big chance for them all tonight playing alongside established players. The press are talking of Nathan Chabolah starting tonight but I believe it won't be the case because of the threat Fulham pose.

I expect our back five to be as follows: Hilario/Turnbull, Bertrand, Luiz, Alex, Ferreira. Pretty solid to me. We will be looking for Ferreira and particularly Bertrand to get forward.

Now I posted yesterday a detailed tactical view of Chelsea's formation of 4-2-3-1 that I believe we should stick with. I do however, think tonight because of the players being rested, we will revert back to 4-3-3.

Our midfield will more than likely look like this: Romeu, McEachran and Lampard. Romeu will sit and hold, win the ball and give it to the other two. McEachran and Lampard will both look to create and get forward. I could be wrong about Frank playing, but for me we need the experience so I would stick him in there.

These three need to play well and be on their toes. Fulham WILL close them down and put them under pressure so it will be interesting to see how Romeu and McEachran do in particular.

Up front, we know Lukaku is starting and Drogba will be involved which indicates to me Drogba will be on the bench. So for LukakuTrafford. I never understood why he was asked to do a job out on the right wing. He has his chance tonight.

Again, because of the desire to win this competition, I think we will stick two experienced players either side of Lukaku and they will be Malouda and Kalou. Malouda to provide a natural left sided balance to our attack and Kalou the same on the right.

Despite the changes to our side, I believe AVB will be keen to see Chelsea continue to add pace into our game. It will be interesting to see how quickly Romeu moves the ball forward from the holding role compared to Mikel.

The good thing about both sides tonight is that they will "have a go" tonight. Fulham won't come here to sit back and defend, they will want to make like difficult for us in midfield and look to counter attack us.

Chelsea will be looking for another good performance at home so we could be in for a really good game tonight.

I believe we will see goals. Let's hope Chelsea can play to their abilities throughout the side and get the result!.


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